An Improving Nationwide Traffic Safety Picture
The Department of Transportation reports that traffic deaths are on the decline nationwide, dropping to the lowest levels in 50 years. This is partially due to new technology, enforcement of drunk driving laws, and a more safety conscious public.
Florida led the nation with 422 fewer deaths in Florida auto accidents than the previous year and Texas was down 405 fewer deaths. In all, 41 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico saw a decline in highway fatalities.
Deaths from traffic accidents fell 9.7 % in 2009 to total 33,808. The previous year, an estimated 37,423 people died on our nation’s highways.
Besides more safety conscious motorists, more cars come complete with side air bags and stability control to prevent rollovers. Also many more states are focusing their efforts on curtailing drinking and driving. Jacksonville car accident lawyers and citizens alike also recognize that the economic downturn is also a factor as people are not driving as many miles collectively to work or to go out to bars and restaurants.
Motorcyclist deaths also fell 16 percent after 11 years of increases. In 2009, 4,462 motorcyclists died on our roads compared to 5,312 the previous year.
The use of seat belts is at an all-time high with about 85% of Americans now buckling up, and that is a factor sure to save lives. In Florida it is also the law.
The decline in traffic deaths occurs at a time when the estimated vehicle miles traveled last year actually increased by 0.2 percent over 2008.